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Andrew Fabry, Sam Yanda, and Mike Servi were just three guys with a dream when in 2013 they opened Badger State Brewing Company in a storied neighborhood in Wisconsin.
Working out of part of a building built in the 1960s on Lombardi Ave., they launched their craft brewery in what was then the blossoming “Stadium District” near Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers.
Now, after several awards, and six winning seasons (that includes expanding the brewery in 2014, 2016, and again in 2018), Badger State Brewing Company features a tap room, beer garden, and 10,000 square feet of brewing space that houses a new 30-barrel brewing system, as well as an event hall that can host up to 500 visitors.
With an eye toward continued expansion and growth, and a commitment to be even “greener,” the company, working with Matthew Whitaker of Fluid Handling Inc., recently added a Miura LX-100SG Steam Boiler to build out its processing capabilities, while reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions.
“The Miura boiler gives us the scalability we need to continue making strides in the craft brewing industry,” said Fabry. “The actual boiler is a very impressive, compactly-designed piece of equipment that provides full steam in five minutes from a cold start (on-demand steam). That alone is an enormous advantage, when compared to other boilers that require hours to reach full steam. Now, we can turn the boiler off at the end of the day, and know that when we arrive the next morning, we’ll have the steam we need in minutes, Plus, we’ll burn less fuel, have fewer emissions, use less water, and conserve natural resources.”
Whitaker, whose company helps customers select the Miura boilers that meet their needs, while also providing customer training and ongoing support, pointed out why Miura is the perfect fit for so many.
“Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of steam boilers and Miura is the best I’ve seen because, among other things, it offers a complete package or what Miura calls Complete Steam Solutions,” said Whitaker. “This makes overall installation and customer training much easier.”
As an example, Whitaker cited a project he worked on with another steam boiler, earlier in his career, before working with Fluid Handling.
“I worked on another project with a traditional boiler that was probably the most miserable installation I've ever had to deal with,” recalled Whitaker. “The Economizer was shipped loose, the electrical panels for the burners were shipped loose, the gas chain was shipped loose in a box of parts, and I felt like I was dealing with a jigsaw puzzle of equipment. But, with Miura, everything is packaged together and much easier to assemble, which is why I’ve been working with them since 1996.”
In selecting Miura as their boiler, Fabry pointed that in his business, there are companies who offer to set up entire breweries, but that’s not in keeping with Badger State Brewing Company’s philosophy of being the best.
“These days, groups want to offer you a packaged one-stop-shop deal,” added Fabry, “But that's not necessarily the best option, especially when it comes to choosing the best products, and the best partnerships. For our boiler, we wanted the very best product we could find for our particular requirements, and Matt certainly delivered the goods with Miura.”
As Fabry and his co-founders Yanda and Servi learned, Miura boilers are among the most efficient, reliable, and safest boilers in the world.
“We expect today’s steam boilers to be safe, and certainly Miura has the best safety record in the industry,” said Whitaker. “But Miura goes one better with their unique lighter weight boiler design, accessibility to gauges, and advanced safety monitoring and control features; making boiler installation, operation, and routine maintenance safer day-to-day.”
Fabry can’t help but be impressed with his Miura boiler, but he is equally impressed with Whitaker and the folks at Fluid Handling.
“Since we started working together, Matt has guided us in all the right directions,” said Fabry. “In fact, we still have a firetube boiler that we purchased from another vendor early on that is so big we had to install it first and then build the doors and enclosure around it. Before long we’ll be taking down those walls and buying another Miura Boiler. We can actually fit two Miura boilers the same space.”
Fluid Handling has made the process of buying a Miura boiler easy for Badger State Brewing Company. But what really sets it apart, according the Fabry, is its response time when answering a question or providing support.
“Steam is really what starts the process for us in brewing,” added Fabry. “That's why I think you need to have a good vendor to work with, and we're very fortunate to have found that with Matt and Fluid Handling. They are always there when you need them. Plus, Matt’s got a fantastic team; specifically the two guys who work under him that have helped us out immensely, including educating our staff, which is huge.”
Among the many advantages of Miura boilers, and another important reason for it becoming a favorite in the brewery industry is ease-of-operation, a benefit that adds to the boiler’s appeal.
“With the Miura LX boiler, shutdown is basically two valves and a button,” said Whitaker. “It’s that simple and almost anybody can shut it down or start it up. Customers really appreciate that, especially those in the brewery industry who aren’t typically trained as boiler operators.”
This advantage has been echoed by other brewers, who also agree that because Miura boilers start up so quickly and shut down so easily there’s no question about the efficiency and the savings on fuel and water. One brewer suggested that his fuel cost savings approached 20 percent when compared to the traditional firetube boiler his company used before switching to Miura, adding that, “In terms of reliability and maintenance, we’ve seen no problems in over two-plus years.”
Miura’s LX-100 SG LX Gas/Low NOx Series, Low and High Pressure Steam Boiler use natural gas or propane and are available in a range of steam options (300 MAWP, 170 MAWP or 15 MAWP). Their compact size allows them to fit through a standard doorway, while their naturally low NOx (nitrogen oxides) ratings are as low as 9ppm depending on model.
The Miura LX Series design (available in boilers from 50 -300HP) consists of a pressure vessel of rows of vertical tubes sandwiched between two rectangular headers. Both headers are encased in a castable refractory with only the tubes exposed to flame and/or combustion gases. The upper header is attached to the lower header only by the tubes. As the tubes expand and contract, the floating headers adjust up and down accordingly.
This ’floating header’ concept greatly alleviates thermal stress. The ’leaky tube’ problems associated with firetube and bent watertube designs have been eliminated.
As the largest steam boiler company in the world, Miura’s U.S. market share continues to grow as brewers, and many other processing companies and healthcare facilities, switch to or begin operations with Miura boilers.